Details On Acute Coronary Syndrome


Details On Acute Coronary Syndrome  

Acute coronary syndrome or ACS is a name given for a set of conditions related to the heart. The diseases included under this are unstable angina and two forms of myocardial infarction. Unstable angina is that which is not related with heart muscle damage. It differs from stable angina in that stable angina occurs during exertion. Stable angina occurs suddenly, even with mild exertion.

The symptoms for this disease include Chest pain which is an immediate indicator of reduced blood flow to the heart. This chest pain generally proceeds towards the left arm and the left jaw. Along with angina, there may be sweating, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. ACS is generally associated with coronary thrombosis. This occurs when an atherosclerotic plaque or the fatty deposit in a coronary artery breaks leading to thrombosis.

The two types of myocardial infarction or heart attack under ACS are classified as ST-elevation myocardial infarction or STEMI, and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction or NSTEMI. This differentiation is done through an electrocardiogram. Even after the cause of the heart attack has been determined, the patient is at a risk of a recurrent ACS heart attack.

Apart from an electrocardiogram, the patient may also be asked to undergo a chest X-ray, blood tests and telemetry, which is the monitoring of the heart rhythm. When the ECG confirms the changes resulting because of myocardial infarction, then the patient may be treated with thrombolytics, where different drugs are administered to help dissolve the blood clots. 

It is believed that every year around 4 million patients are admitted with unstable angina and acute myocardial infarction.

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